Before I get to the two championship games this week, a very brief message to those people who were disappointed by the results of last week's divisional playoffs. I'm not going to refer to those kinds of people as "B. Simmons," so let's just refer to them as "Bill S." You should have heard the insane bitching that came out of Philly and Arizona meeting the NFC title game. "Wah wah! They don't deserve to be there! They aren't really the best teams! The regular season means nothing! It's just luck at this point! MY GAMBLING PICKS WERE ALL WRONG AND THAT ISN'T FAIR. I liked football better when it was predictable!"
Jesus Christ. You know, sometimes in sports, results don't always flow in accordance with everything you know (or think you may know) about the game. And that's exactly the fucking point. That's why sports are fun to watch. No, the proverbial best team doesn't always win. And you know why? Because the world would fucking suck if they always did. And maybe, just maybe, the supposedly lousy team like Arizona DID deserve to win a game or two. Maybe, despite all their past transgressions, they're actually playing inspired football (and they are).
This is what pisses me off about sports fans sometimes. We've all been brought up to believe that being a sports fan means you have to be some kind of armchair analyst. That you have to argue with your fellow sports fans about who's a better team, or who's a better player, or why some asshole belongs in a Hall of Fame, or whatever shit like that. And you know what? YOUR ARGUMENTS MEAN NOTHING. THEY'RE FUCKING STUPID AND YOU SHOULD BE DRINKING AND LISTENING TO MEGADETH INSTEAD OF WASTING EVERYONE'S TIME WITH YOUR SUPPOSED "I KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT SPORTS" BULLSHIT.
Does Carolina win that game 9 times out of 10 if its played ten times? I guess. Then again, WHO GIVES A FUCK? Sometimes, in sports, the unexplainable happens. Why did Jake Delhomme decide to turn into the worst quarterback ever on Saturday night? Who knows? But you'll find no shortage of dipshit sports fans ready to offer some kind of explanation in hindsight. "I told you he couldn't be trusted!" Whatever.
We need to end this whole culture of "I know sports!" type people. I suggest punching them while they're babies. Preferably as newborns, because younger babies are softer.
Otherwise, we're going to be stuck in this seemingly endless, ESPN-fed era of asshole mini-Schwabs, fuckhead sports fans who think they have a knowledge of strategy and personnel that trumps that of anyone they encounter – other fans, coaches, GMs, etc. Because the truth is, anything anyone (including me, ESPECIALLY ME) tries to tell you about what will happen in this weekend's upcoming games is WORTHLESS BULLSHIT. And anyone who bets on sports with any regularity, thinking they have a good feel for what will occur, is a fucking retard. More than that, an ANNOYING fucking retard, who goes all John Nash when the results don't go his way ("THE GAME IS FLAWED! THE GAME IS FLAWED!").
So the next time someone tries to dazzle you with some inherently unknowable sports argument or prediction, tell them to fall down a fucking gorge.
Now, that said, LET'S PICK THE GAMES!
All games in the Jamboroo are evaluated for sheer watchability on a scale of 1 to 5 Throwgasms. And, like last year, I'll be picking scores for every playoff game. WHY? BECAUSE I KNOW A LOT ABOUT SPORTS AND I WANT TO IMPRESS YOU WITH MY BREADTH OF SPORTING INTELLIGENCE. It's a bold move, one I'm sure will end up landing me any number of honorary ribbons and engraved silver chalices.
Eagles 34, Cardinals 21: The Cardinals got here by beating two teams that weren't terribly good at pass defense. It seemed like Carolina was a good bet to destroy Arizona last week. And then they played the game, and then Richard Marshall took the field for the Panthers secondary, and HOLY SHIT RICHARD MARSHALL YOU ARE FUCKING TERRIBLE. YOU ARE THE BLACK BRIAN RUSSELL. GOOD GOD MAN, YOU LOOKED LIKE A TEN YEAR OLD TRAPPED IN A BURNING BUILDING, FOR SHIT'S SAKE! Larry Fitzgerald could blow by you even if he were trapped in a fucking burlap bag!
Well, thankfully for Philadelphia, Richard Marshall does not populate the Eagles secondary. And I, ever the soothsayer, have done some crack research. It turns out Carolina and Atlanta ranked 16th and 21st in overall pass defense during the course of the season, respectively. The Eagles ranked third, and had more picks than any team in the league. Therefore, I believe the Cardinals will not pass the ball as successfully against Philly as they did their last two opponents. Oh, I'm sorry. Did I just impregnate your brain with my incredible wealth of football knowledge? ONCE AGAIN, MY ASTONISHING FIELD WORK SHINES A LIGHT WHERE THERE WAS ONCE DARKNESS. You would never have known this critical information had I not procured it!
Now, if this is the last time we end up seeing the Buzzsaw this season, it warrants mentioning before they depart that Edgerrin James pays crackheads $20 to spot him in the weight room during the offseason. It's an old story, but really, does a story about crackheads EVER get old? From Michael Silver:
"I know it doesn't sound like much," James says jokingly, "but for crackheads, that's two hits and a solid meal."
The way the night owl James saw it, to regain the form that enabled him to lead the NFL in rushing in each of his first two seasons, 1999 and 2000, it was imperative that he work out on his own schedule, peculiar as it might have seemed. So James created Alligator Alley's answer to a 24-hour fitness center. As for his spotters and running partners, he didn't have a lot of options. "At that time of night the crackheads are the only ones awake," James says. "I'd roll down Second Street, find a dude stumbling around and say, 'Yo, come rack my weights.' Other times I'd pay one to run with me."
This man is the ballsiest man in history.
Edge: Hey, crackie! Could you stand by and make sure a rich fellow like me doesn't get crushed by the 400 lb. barbell he's trying to bench press?
Crackhead: What's in it for me?
Edge: Breakfast. And more crack! A crack brunch!
There are about 800 things that can happen if you ask a crackhead to help you lift weights. One of them is not horrible. The rest involve a 25-lb. plate being implanted in your skull and your body being set on fire. Although RUNNING with a crackhead isn't such a bad idea. All crackheads run a 2.8 forty time when blazed.
In other news, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa worked the Cards game for FOX last week. Two things. First, I never thought I'd say this, but Goose actually pointed out something useful. And that is that when your defense stays off the field, they not only have more time to rest, but they also have more time to adjust. If your offense goes three and out, you've barely sat down before you're on the field again, which means you don't have time to go over all the horrible ways you may have fucked up during the last series. Which means you are less prepared than a defense that gets a decent series to rest. A rested defense gets better and better prepared as the game goes on. And I never thought of that. Because I was far too busy thinking of slice and bake cookies.
The second thing about the Moose and Goose creampie tag team you need to know is something KSK readers pointed out several times during the course of the game, and that is that Daryl Johnston has stunning eyes.
I'm not gay. Or, at least, not in public. But even I must admit those eyes are downright ravishing. "These eyes… AAAAAARE CRYIN'!" They're so blue! They're beyond blue. It's as if Daryl Johnston's eyes house some alternate marine universe, where mermen duel with harpoons and evil gillmonsters riding black seahorses try to steal their precious sapphire amulets. But perhaps I've said too much already. Must… stop… looking at Moose's eyes…
What's that, Daryl's eyes? You want me to hunt down Jay Novacek, shoot him with a bow, and then mount him on a car? And then crash that car? And then turn his ashes into a potent elixir to help preserve your perfect, crystalline features? So you'll always be Aikman's favorite? Is that your deadly secret? DAMMIT, YOUR WILL IS MY COMMAND! I AM HELPLESS AGAINST YOUR UNPARALLELED BEAUTY!
Thank God Daryl's eyes are gone for the year. Who knows how many babies I've abducted at their behest.
Steelers 24, Ravens 10: Out of any team in the league, I think the Steelers know how best to defend the Ravens' offensive strategy of "have Sylar Flacco throw it 100 times to Derrick Mason in order to set up one really longass throw to Mark Clayton".
And by the way, that whole thing about it being so hard to beat a team three times in one season? It's bullshit. From Aaron Schatz comes this handy article in the Dallas News detailing the results of third-time meetings. The team with the chance to sweep has gone 11-7 in those games. Maybe it's not so hard to beat a team three times. Maybe beating a team twice is a good indicator that you know how to, you know, beat them again. THAT'S MY POTENT ANALYSIS, ONE THAT IS SURE TO WIN YOU MONEY THIS WEEK.
And so, if the favorites hold, we'll end up with an all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl that will take place in Florida. People, I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say this kind of mass influx of Pennsylvanians into the greater Tampa area will result in A FUCKING DRIVING HOLOCAUST.
I've driven in lots of states, and I've encountered a whole lot of shitty drivers. But Pennsylvania drivers and Florida drivers are among the fucking worst of the bunch. I don't even know why they bother painting lines on the fucking road in either of those states. It's not as if traffic markers are obeyed at any time. I've seen better driving in fucking Egypt. "Lemme just go 40mph in the left hand lane, and then pull alongside another Pennsylvania driver going 40mph in the right hand lane, so that we might form a completely impenetrable wall that you have no chance of advancing past! Oh, did I just merge into a bridge support?"
You don't want to be anywhere near Tampa two weeks from now if this matchup happens. It'll be an unholy wreck of retard Steeler fans plowing their rented Ford Tauruses into a bunch of crippled retirees' Crown Victorias. No one will be spared. Four-way stop signs will be CHAOS. Cars will be parked diagonally in every available space. 400-car pileups will occur just because some lady from Sarasota was trying to get a photo of her dog to be the wallpaper on her cell phone screen. Turn signals will mean NOTHING.
You've been warned.
Last Week's Picks: 2-2 (2-2 vs. the spread)
2008 Playoff Picks Record: 5-3 (5-3 vs. the spread)
Pregame Song That Makes Me Want To Run Through A Goddamn Brick Wall
"Zombie Eaters," by Faith No More. You'll be hard pressed to ever find a finer song about evil babies. Let's go to the lyrics.
Hey look at me lady
I'm just a little baby
You're lucky to have me
I'm cute and sweet as candy
As charming as a fable
I'm innocent and disabled
So hug me and kiss me
Then wipe my butt and piss me
I like to make a mess
I laugh at your distress
I sit all day in my crib
Absorbing all you give
I'm a machine
Give me, I need my toys...
Jesus, that's uncannily accurate. How did Mike Patton know so much about my future children? These damn babies… they just take and take and take. NO ONE TOLD ME PARENTING WAS A ONE WAY STREET!
I'm telling you, as time goes on, FNM's music only grows more and more badass. You know what? Fuck it. Let's add one more of their videos in here.
"Surprise, You're Dead!" Greatest name for a song ever? Fuck and yes. I should make this song my ringtone.
Embarassing Mixtape Track I Once Owned That Will Not Fire You Up
"Around The Way Girl," by LL Cool J. Sweet as brown sugar with the candied yams. You hear LL, ladies? He don't want no stuck up tuna. He doesn't want Ivana, he wants TAWANA. Peep the video. THEY'RE SUPERIMPOSED IN FRONT OF THE CITY! WHAT TECHNOLOGICAL WIZARDRY WAS DEVISED TO CREATE SUCH AN ILLUSION?
I still like this song. Along with my Babyface tapes, I used to listen to this song when I was 14 and imagine myself as a suave ladies' man who had mastered the art of getting pussy. You should have seen all the imaginary women I banged: Lisa, Angela, Pamela, Renee… I took them the world over. We'd dance in front of the Central Park view at the Rainbow Room… and then screw. We'd rent a cozy hideaway at Vail and sip champagne in front of the fireplace… and then screw. We'd helicopter into Anguilla… and then heliscrew.
Oh sure, in reality, I only got to fuck fruit. But Imaginary Muscular Drew was a force to be reckoned with between the sheets. I'd like to see YOU try and get that much pretend pussy, rookie!
Towel That Deserves To Die A Slow, Painful Death
The Titan Towel. Wanna know why you lost to the Ravens, Tennessee fans? It's because of these stupid fucking things. How is this intimidating to another team? "Oh no! Light blue terry cloth!"
This is, by no means, a defense of The Terrible Towel. I fucking hate those things too. You're in the stands, having a beer, and some asshole won't stop waving his goddamn arm around you. You know what, people? JUST FUCKING YELL. Yelling works best. Twirling a fucking washcloth, or banging a couple of inflatable dildos together, does not.
And I say this as someone who was once guilty of waving a Homer Hanky. Yes, I was a Twins fan back in the day. And yes, I owned one of these supposedly magical snotrags. I offer no excuse for it. In fact, a hanky is even gayer to twirl around than a towel. Nothing says, "Hey Cowboy, come fuck me in half!" quite like waving a handkerchief around.
But that doesn't mean the whole world had to adapt this stupid fucking trend. If you're gonna twirl something during a game to fire up the home team, you should be twirling a mace, or a dead child from the opposing team's city. "We have your dead infants! TRY AND CONCENTRATE NOW, FUCKOS!"
(NOTE: Lotta dead babies in this week's Jamboroo, which reminds me of a joke. How do you make a dead baby float? Two scoops of ice cream, two scoops of dead baby, and some root beer.)
Nazi Shark's Vegas Lock Of The Week
Lots of sports sites, to demonstrate the arbitrary nature of gambling, like to have animals like monkeys pick games to see if they can outwit their human counterparts. There's no reason we at Deadspin can't also get in on the fun. So we've asked National Socialist German Workers' Party member Rolf, who also happens to be a shark, to pick one game a week. Take it away, Nazi shark.
"This week, I like Philadelphia giving 3 points on the road against Arizona. I can't believe the season's almost over. That means I'm gonna have to start watching college basketball. And you know what that means. GO DUKE! DUKE RULES!"
2008 Nazi Shark Record: 6-11 (2-0 playoffs)
Great Moments In Sports Poop History
Reader Phil F. sends in this poop story that will PISS YOU OFF.
"My roommate in college had a buddy, Rob, who used to come visit from time to time. So on one of his visits, my roommate mentions "The Shitting Bandit". Naturally, I am curious. I guess the story was that Rob would go around to different restaurants in the state of Connecticut and take a dump on the bathroom floor. He then would wait until someone complained about it and watch the poor sucker who had to clean it up, laughing to himself the whole time. Afterwards, he would go back and mark the spot on a map he had in his truck. His hope was the police were tracking his pattern on a giant map of their own (like they were tracking a serial killer) and that it would finally spell out "Rob" across the map. Thus, he named himself ‘The Shitting Bandit'."
This guy Rob is a fucking dick. No wonder he's from Connecticut. I'm not kidding when I say he deserves to be put to death, preferably by being buried alive in other people's shit. Oh, it's funny to make some poor working sap clean up your shit? That's humorous? What are you, fucking Drunkasaurus Rex? "Hey, I'm drunk and I'm an asshole! I'm so funny!" DIE, ROB. I HOPE YOU GET ASS CANCER.
Fire This Asshole!
Here's who has been fired or retired so far:
Tony Dungy retired this week. He made the playoffs ten years in a row. He won a Super Bowl. He's arguably the most well-liked person in the entire league. Forgive the homerism, but this man could have been coaching the Minnesota Vikings that whole time. He served under Denny Green as d-coordinator for ages, yet never once did the Vikings' brass stop and think, "Hey, that man seems talented, rational, and non-assholish. Perhaps he'd be an improvement over the complete asshat we currently have."
The Vikings have long had a habit of letting talented assistants go coach other teams while retaining whatever shitty head coach they presently have – Dungy, Mike Tomlin, Leslie Frazier in the coming weeks. This makes me want to die. Because not only is my team poorly coached. But it has also, through the years, employed any number of men who would have been perfectly able to coach the team well. God damn you, Vikings. God damn you.
Gametime Snack Of The Week
Potato chips and onion dip! Chips and salsa is a goddamn Weight Watchers snack compared to this robust pairing. Oh, sure. A potato chip is good and fatty. But what if you were able to make it more fatty and delicious? What if the potato chip were merely reduced to a vessel for something even more hostile to your pancreatic system? That's the magic of sour cream and onion dip. It's almost as evil as those Old El Paso jarred cheese dips you see in the store, but not quite. Do you trust any sort of cheese that comes in a jar? I do not.
Gametime Beer Of The Week
Asahi! We go for three Japanese beers in a row. Some readers complained last week that Japanese beers like Sapporo aren't very good. To which I say, GO GET FUCKED. It's beer. It's cold. It's good. If you want to be a beer snob, leave this column and go sniff some hops like a fucking asshole.
Last week, I regaled you with the story of my trip to all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant Yuka, where I ended up stashing rice cakes to the shitter to prevent supplemental food charges. I got away with it. But reader Kevin R. knows of a sushi restaurant where such tomfoolery is not so easily pulled off.
"I read that during your all you can eat sushi experience, you balled up the rice cakes and tossed them into the bathroom garbage. Well, tossing the extra rolls is definitely a good option if you have to pay for anything left on the plate. That is, unless, the sushi place has CAMERAS.
"Let that sink in: a hole in the wall sushi restaurant here in Chicago has SECURITY CAMERAS to prevent buffet patrons from doing precisely what you did.
"House of Sushi and Noodles is the Pentagon of maki roll buffets."
Terrifying. Imagine those sneaky bastards catching you in the act. BILL PARCELLS SAYS THAT'S A JAP PLAY! And to think, they have someone there who is specifically hired to watch the shitter to make sure patrons aren't smuggling ngiri. Diabolical! 500-mile death march for you! In all honesty, I'd rather be caught masturbating.
You know what needs to be done, don't you? We need to build a competitive eating restaurant. You bring three friends. You eat as much as you want. Whoever eats the least gets the tab. Any food not eaten (wings, hot dogs, rectums) gets a supplemental charge. IF YOU SMUGGLE FOOD INTO THE SHITTER OR YOU VOMIT, then you get stuck with the tab.
This would be a huge hit in Pennsylvania.
Why Is Jeneane Garofalo On 24 Now?
That makes no fucking sense.
Also, judging by the show, there is no worse explosion flopper in the world than Jack Bauer. The explosion could be miles away, and he's still spazzing his way to the ground. He's the Manu Ginobili of vigilante secret agents.
Random FKS-Style Tidbit
I took my kid to a "Truck Touch" the other week. This sounds like something disgusting, or like a junior level "Hands on a hard body" contest, but it is not. It's just a thing where the county puts all their emergency vehicles out in a parking lot and lets neighborhood kids climb into them. My kid climbed into a fire truck. There was a fire hat on the opposite seat. She put the hat on. I took a picture.
Surly Fireman: She can't wear that hat. It's too heavy. It can break a kid's neck.
Me: Jesus H. Fuck, what's it doing there then? Why didn't you tell everyone a fire hat was a spine-crushing instrument of child death?
Surly Fireman: I dunno.
Fucking fireman. All uppity ever since 9/11. YOU'RE NOT AS COOL AS YOU THINK, COCKWALLETS!
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Lions Fans
Commando. Not to be ever be confused with Suburban Commando. I approve of any Arnold film where Arnold, at the end, decides to gear up and start blowing some assholes apart. Deeply satisfying.
Gratuitous Simpsons Quote
"More testicles means more IRON!"
Halftime Masturbation Kit
-For the guys: Ashley Day. She seems approachable.
-For the gals: James Dawson Martin, who goes by the nickname Jamerjay. I'm almost certain this link is strictly for gay men. Or men who think Daryl Johnston has gorgeous eyes.
Your Motivational Pregame Quote For The Weekend
"Ain't supposed to die on a Saturday night."
-The Gaslight Anthem
Enjoy the games, everyone.